Politics of Questers

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This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Questers

The Politics of Questers take place in the context of a single-party state in which the only legal political party is the Questarian Communist Party. Supreme legislative power is vested in the Trades Union Congress, a legislative assembly comprised of delegates from trades union who are subject to instant recall. The Congress itself is both a trades union centre and a co-operative federation, comprising both workplaces and the workers. Its constituency is therefore the majority of the Questarian workforce. The Congress enacts legislation and elects a Cabinet of Ministers, which elects a Prime Minister and administers central government departments and executive agencies. The Communist Party selects personnel for the civil service and government positions.

In terms of local government, Questers is officially a Federation, although in practice it has a strong central government: the Constitution grants only the central government the right to make laws. However, Questers has been described as a decentralised Socialist state, with significant devolution - the Powers of the County Act 1991 and the Communes Act 1992 provide many powers for citizens to create their own devolved bodies known as communes, the basic form of local government. Questarian communes are organised along the principles of participatory democracy and co-operativism. Since the Commune is responsible for providing and operating social services and social enterprises, its administration is regarded as the primary unit of local government.

The country's political process is defined by the Peoples Conference, a meeting between the Trades Union Congress and the Questarian Communist Party which takes place every two years, in which political agendas are set, the constitution may be altered, and where ideological positions are made official. Although the legal basis for the Peoples Conferences comes from the Constitution, the Constitution also gives the Peoples Conference the ability to alter it in any way, so there is some legal debate about which institution is superior.

Although the confluence of power between the KCP and the TUC is a central part of Sorelist-Powellist political thought, Questers has significant internal political influence from both Left Communists and Libertarian Communists. Officially, however, Questers is a workers state. The preamble to the Constitution reads:

The working people of Questers have come here today to write an Instrument of Government. This Government shall build a socialist state, led by the workers, and representing the interests of the working people of the whole world.

Constitution

Main article: Constitution of Questers

Peoples Conferences

Main article: Peoples Conferences

The Constitution mandates that a Peoples Conference be held every two calendar years. Although most conferences are held in February, before the budget is set and after the year's main legislative agenda (September-February) has finished, the requirement is only by calendar year, so that the Peoples Conference can take place at any time in the year; the 2001 Conference took place in December, for a ten year anniversary of the revolution. Since the 1999 Conference had taken place in March, they were technically two years and nine months apart. The Communist Party is responsible for setting the date, although if two calendar years passes a Peoples Conference is automatically set for February 15th.

The 2011 and 2013 Peoples Conferences also included the Combined Forces General Staff as a third party, although this was amended out in the 2015 Conference. The purpose of the Conference is announce a legislative agenda, which takes the first three days The next three days of the Committee are spent clarifying and discussing ideological positions, making commendments and condemnations and announcing awards and sinecures. Every four years, the Central Planning Board announces a new economic plan. In the intervening Conference in which no new plan is announced, the Board instead reports on the progress of the current plan.

Conference is the most important political event in Questers, and invitation is usually only to higher ranking members of the Communist Party and selected delegates of the TUC. It is normally held in the former royal palaces at Beaufort. The Constitution is the legal source of the Conference, but since Conference may alter the Constitution in any way, it is unclear which body has complete supremacy over the other.

Agenda

Planning

Legislature

Main article: Trades Union Congress

Executive

Main article: Cabinet of Ministers

Peter Baker, the Prime Minister since 2015.

Questers is formally a directory; the Cabinet is collegial, coming to collective decisions, but it selects a Prime Minister. The Prime Minister was originally primus inter pares, selected purely to be an enactor of Cabinet policy, but since 1991 his powers have grown in this respect so that the Prime Minister's office itself is a relatively powerful institution. The Cabinet of Ministers is formally chosen by the Trades Union Congress, but under the constitution the Congress must respect recommendations of the Cabinet unless two thirds of the Congress are in favour of replacing a Minister. Ministers may resign, or be fired by the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister

Main article: Prime Minister

The Prime Minister is the head of government. He is chosen by the Cabinet of Ministers in order to direct the government. Although his role is traditionally primus inter pares, over time the role of Prime Minister has evolved and the office has gathered more powers. By convention, Prime Ministers must serve in the Cabinet before becoming Prime Minister. The main role of the Prime Minister is to lead the Cabinet, set agendas, represent the country as head of government, and direct the civil service, although most decisions of Cabinet are taken collectively.

Cabinet

The remaining five members of the Cabinet of Ministers do not head only individual government ministries, but also broad categories of other departments and executive agencies. They are responsible for the whole conduct of government policy throughout their broad areas. The five ministers, and their broad responsibilities, are as follows:

  • Minister of Foreign Affairs: Foreign relations and embassies, foreign aid
  • Minister of Defence: Armed forces and intelligence agencies, civil defence, sensitive research agencies
  • Minister of Finance: Economic planning, budgets and national banks, industrial-technical research agencies, regulatory bodies
  • Minister of the Community: Healthcare, education, services, environment, culture, regulatory agencies, cultural agencies
  • Attorney-General: Attorney-Generals Office, Ministry of Justice, police forces, prisons, interior affairs

Cabinet ministers are rarely fired, although if several of their respective ministries or departments are in crisis, it is expected that the Prime Minister will request a resignation. The Questarian government is one of the most opaque in the world and ministers are rarely fired due to scandal, although they are under constant examination for corruption.[1]

Communist Party

The Questarian Communist Party (KCP) is constitutionally the only political party allowed in Questers. Its main role is in managing the machinery of government and controlling appointments to the civil service and to all state agencies, since loyalty to the Communist Party is a significant factor in promotion and appointments.[2][3] The Communist Party, with the TUC, also sets the country's political and economic agendas in Peoples Conferences. It operates youth organisations and womens organisations. The strength of the Party in the civil service is so prominent that some observers have claimed the Party runs the government.

Judiciary

Main article: College of Justice

Peoples Special Advocate

Main article: Office of the Peoples Special Advocate

Local Government

Metropolitan Areas

Main article: Metropolitan areas in Questers

Communes

Main article: Communes in Questers

Sources of law

When the 1991 Constitution was signed, Acts of Law passed by the Congress became the primary form of law[4]. However, the Constitution also disestablished the prior constitution of Questers, and all the statutes signed under the previous Parliament. Since the Constitution also granted common law primacy where statute did not exist, and did not abolish the common law, many laws reverted to their common law status. Significant work has been made since 1991 to codify laws, but common law is still an important part of Questarian law, especially in criminal cases and civil disputes. Since the majority of the Congress time is spent establishing economic plans, this is likely to be the case in the near future. [5]

Statute

The Trades Union Congress presents Bills, which are passed if a majority of present members vote in favour. While there is currently no quorum, no single union dominates the Congress, and by convention a quorum of at least a majority of members is required in order not to lose political capital with potential political allies. Although statutes are the primary form of law, they can also grant certain bodies, especially local government administrations, the right to make byelaws or delegated legislation.

Common law

The Questarian common law is a system of customary law, interpreted and made by judges.

Decree

The the Constitution allows the Cabinet of Ministers, via the Prime Minister, to issue decrees, ordering government agencies or individuals to enact government policy; these decrees sometimes appear legislative rather than executive, such as the 1992 Decree on Foreign Travel which banned foreign travel without an exit visa. Decrees are automatically overruled by statute.

Special warrant

The Peoples Special Advocate, the country's anti-corruption omsbudsman, can present subpoenas, known as special warrants, the legality of which last during the length of an investigation; investigations are formally launched and formally concluded. Special warrants allow the Peoples Special Advocate or their agents to subpoena any document or person for examination or interrogation and allow the Special Advocateto impose life imprisonment with labour on individuals who refuse to co-operate. The constitution forbids individuals or state agencies from interfering with an investigation with a special warrant and allows the Special Advocate to call on the police, shire troops, or the armed forces to assist in the execution of a warrant. For the time of an investigation, a special warrant has even stronger legal primacy than statute law.

See also

  1. Scandals in Questers, Lars Pelham
  2. 'World Factbook, Panorama des statistiques mondial
  3. Political Systems of the World, de Lorraine, St Lo University Press
  4. Introduction to the Questarian Constitution, Jesselton University College
  5. System Summary for First Year Students, Jesselton University College Law Review